Review Of Literature : Homeless Shelters

1792 Words Feb 27th, 2015 8 Pages
Review of Literature
Homeless Shelters

Beginning in the 1980s, the predominant response to the growing homeless crisis across the United States by local governments has centered on shelter-based interventions (Greenhaigh 2006). In response to the increasing financial burden that the homeless population placed on cities and rural areas, the federal government enacted the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987, the first major federal law that provides money specifically designated to assist homeless individuals in finding shelter (Burt et al. 2007, U.S. Public Law 100-77 [1987]).
Shelters are the point of entry into the homeless system, and provide immediate, short-term living accommodations through congregate living facilities. Hurtubise et al. (2009) defines shelters by the number of beds, which can range from a few to several hundred, or by the nature of the services offered. Shelters are usually located in urban areas and offer the homeless a place to eat and stay the night, but then expect them to stay elsewhere during the day (Robinson 2012). The rationalization for this type of shelter system is that homeless individuals are expected to look for jobs and housing during the day (Mendell 2007).
Throughout time, the role of shelters has changed substantially from being a temporary intervention (Hurtubise et al. 2009) to becoming a permanent intervention to reduce homelessness. Critics of shelters as a long-term intervention to reduce homelessness argue that that…
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